Deadliest insects

Mosquitos are among the World’s Deadliest Animals

Mosquitos kill more than 700,000 people every year and account for 17% of the estimated global burden of infectious diseases. What makes mosquitos so dangerous is their capacity to transmit viruses and other parasites that carry these devastating diseases.

The number of people infected would be much higher if not for critical pesticides known as a pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are used to treat a number of common pests that carry deadly diseases.

“Zika, West Nile, Lyme, and chikungunya—a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea—have confronted the U.S. in recent years, making a lot of people sick. And we don’t know what will threaten Americans next,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

Pests such as bed bugs, ticks, fleas and lice are not only nuisance creatures that  can carry and transmit organisms like bacteria, but can also serve as vectors for sometimes fatal illnesses like:

  • The Plague, which killed 1/3 of the European population in the 1300s, is also carried by fleas and is endemic to the southwestern US.
  • Typhus can spread to humans from bacteria found in infected mites, fleas, lice or mice
  • Trench Fever is more commonly diagnosed in homeless populations, or in conditions where good hygiene is difficult
  • Lyme Disease A growing problem, nearly 35,000 cases of tick-borne Lyme disease are reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year.
  • AsthmaAllergens from cockroaches have been known to be a cause of asthma in children, especially for those living in inner cities
  • Fatal Bites and StingsPyrethroids protect against pests such as fire ants, wasps and bees, which can potentially cause fatal allergic reactions.

Pyrethroids reduce the risk of insect bites and control the insects that spread disease around the home and in other such places where people congregate:

  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Courthouses
  • Airplanes
  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Movie theaters
  • Government buildings
  • Gyms
  • Businesses

Additional Pyrethroid Facts

  • Pyrethroids strongly bind to sediment and other natural materials in water bodies, which limits bioavailability (they are unlikely to come in contact with) to non-target organisms.
  • Pyrethroids protect the nation’s food supply by helping farmers control pests that threaten a wide range of important crops.
  • Manufacturers of pyrethroids promote the responsible use of their pesticides through stewardship programs aimed at growers, consumers and professional pest control applicators.
  • Pyrethroids are widely used in products for agricultural, vector control (e.g. mosquitoes), animal health, stored grain, home and garden, and turf and ornamental markets.
  • The military treats its uniforms with pyrethroids, as do many outdoor clothing companies.

Additional Resources:

Benefits of Pyrethroids
Pyrethroid FAQs
Pyrethroids and Human Health
Pyrethroids and the Environment